Monday, December 5, 2011
This past Sunday, our sermon at church was on Worshipful Women, like Mary and Elizabeth in the Gospel story. We took a close look at Mary's Magnificat~her song of praise to God for what he was about to do by bringing Jesus to earth. Mary said, "...for the Mighty One has done great things for me..." (Luke 1:49)NIV
Now, I don't know about you, but being a pregnant, un-wed teen, to me, (while possibly a way to get on MTV), is not the way I would consider myself being blessed. But, why did Mary see it this way? Because she knew that God had a plan, and she knew that even though she was "little Mary", with God all things were possible, and he could save the world by using her as a vessel.
So, our pastor posed the question: How has God done great things for me? (Meaning, each of us, as ourselves.) How has God chosen to bless me, in other words, by doing GREAT things THROUGH me for ALL MANKIND?
Well, let's consider my "new life." I previously was helping to manage a dental office. I had worked in the front offices of dental offices in Madison for 9 years. While I had, back in 2007, returned to school to try and earn a teaching degree so I could teach Special Ed, I had to withdraw from school a year later once I realized how much longer that journey would be, and what it would cost my family financially, and psychologically.
So I continued to manage. Now, many of you know, I'm a stubborn person...I make things work...I will not admit defeat. But over the course of the past 2 years, I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into a depression. I was completely discontented with my life. I was struggling to figure out how to get out of a prison that I felt trapped in.
Enter God...in his wonderful way, he knows that I often need him to slam me over the head with a frying pan before I realize that I need to change direction. Back in June, he wound up and let her rip...blammo!!! The frying pan landed on my thick skull and I was no longer gainfully employed. Since God manages to somehow have this stuff already covered, he managed to put Jeff and I in a position where this was an "okay" thing. We were going to get by just fine for a while and I could start looking for something else.
It was also during this time that we realized that my daughter needed me and I needed my daughter more than we had ever noticed. I was never home when she got up in the morning, I was already at work. I was rushing home trying to get her picked up by 5:30, just to rush us through dinner and rush us through bedtime and avoid any (and hopefully all) chances of meltdowns. Once I had time with Evie, I began to see my communication with her change...I was more patient, I took the time to teach, I took the time to listen, I took the time to love and respect her. It was a relationship transformed. *Thanks, God*
I also was finally able to do the things I never had time to do when working full-time. I got Evie into physical therapy and got her into horseback riding therapy. I never, EVER, would have had the time to consider the evaluation appointments, nor the scheduled appointments as times I could have taken out of work. With all her doctors' appointments as it was, there was just so much time out of our work schedule that I, or Jeff needed to be off...but now, I could just say, "I'm not available" if I were called on a day she had an appointment, without having to consider if the absence would reflect poorly on my job. I'm happy to say, these appointments have made great changes in Evie's balance, coordination and strength. *Thanks, God*
When it came around to deciding on a few job offers...we suddenly realized something...maybe it was better for our family to take the risk, and not have a regularly scheduled job. Maybe it was better for me to substitute teach, right in town here, so I could have EVEN MORE time with Evie...mornings, AND afternoons. As I turned down an incredible job offer that would have really set our family in the black on our finances, my stomach lurched...but my heart glowed. We were choosing thriving personally from surviving financially. *Thanks, God, we know you'll provide*
Now that I was going to be home in the afternoons, I could take on new things! Evie and I decided to start going to AWANA at our church here in town. I started to help lead music for the kids. For a "small church" our AWANA program sees +90 kids come through on a weekly basis. That's great! What's even better? That FAITH follows me into the schools!!! No longer must we keep our joy of the Lord buried deep within! I walked onto the playground today and felt like a Jonas brother! I had kids swarming me saying, "I know you from AWANA!!! You sing at that Church!!!" *Thanks, God...did you REALLY see it happening this way? :)*
I had mentioned when filling out my paperwork for substitute paraprofessional as well as substitute teaching that I would do any grades and any abilities. Well, special ed is a tough part to fill. So, I have been blessed to have been called for each school, and have worked all but 2 days so far these past three months in special ed...my passion, my inspiration. And, as I start many weeks with a blank calendar, like last week...I ended up working every day I could, and this week is filling up just as fast. *Thanks, God*
So, was being unemployed in a turbulent financial time, without plan, without alternative something that most people would say, "the Mighty One has done great things for me?" Probably not. But when we step back, and look at how this change in my life has trickled and trickled and trickled and impacted education, faith, communication, and physical and financial health...I mean...WOW, GOD!
I am EXTREMELY blessed.